Oh no! Look what my 5-year-old found at the bottom of his toy box! Here we go again! sigh…
It’s hard to believe but I’ve been a mom for over five years now! My babies have grown into little boys. No longer can I just pick out Halloween costumes for my family. My boys now are big thinkers with their own ideas for Halloween costumes. And they now tell me what costumes they will be wearing for Halloween. Through the years, our family wore group Halloween costumes that were so much fun to put together.
Our family Halloween costumes through the years:
Long before Big Bang Theory debuted on the small screen, my sweet husband (then fiancée) and I were just a couple of nerds in love!
A few years later, we were blessed with a very special baby elephant that joined John McCain and Sarah Palin on the campaign trail.
When the foster “twin” girl to my Mickey Mouse moved a few days before Halloween, Mommy stepped in to fill Minnie’s ears.
The next year, a new addition to our family made no place like home!
And then, the Joker and Catwoman tried to foil Batman, the Caped Crusader, and Robin the Boy Wonder.
But ahoy, matey, this crew of pirates tried to take over a Disney cruse ship last Halloween.
Does your family dress in Halloween costumes? Which family Halloween costume is your favorite?
Two days before we adopted our LilBit, I received a surprising call that LilBit’s birthmother had a newborn Baby Brother. We were the first family called so siblings could be together. We lamented on the decision of whether to have Baby Brother join our family.
Could we handle THREE rambunctious little boys, especially at our age?
Declining the placement of LilBit’s Baby Brother was the most heart-wrenching decision I’ve ever had to make. That one decision would change not only our lives, but so many other lives too.
We have been blessed in that Baby Brother has an incredible family, and he is their pride and joy! We have an open relationship with Baby Brother’s family and see each other occasionally.
Here are two brothers exhausted from swimming.
Can you figure out which little boy is our LilBit and which is his Baby Brother? Even LilBit can’t tell the difference!
If you follow Foster2Forever on Facebook or Twitter, you know that we had a rough weekend! Stinkpot had a number of rages over the weekend that eventually drove me to curl up in tears. For those of you with children that may have Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) or other attachment issues, you can understand the disruption it causes in your family. The sheer exhaustion of it all.
Many times I am overwhelmed by the reaction that my Stinkpot has sometimes. And nothing seems to work. However, after so many of you recommended it, I finally began reading The Connected Child: Bring hope and healing to your adoptive familyby Dr. Karyn Purvis of TCU. (Read about Feeling Hopeless from Chapter 1. Are you reading along?)
Chapter 2 of The Connected Child is “Where Your Child Began” and describes all the sensory input your adopted child may have missed to be able to form normal attachments in life. Chapter 2 of the companion study guide, Created to Connect, focuses on feeling compassion for your child. I do feel compassion for my child – I love him – but sometimes when he turns into possessed devil-child, I just want to lay down the strict law to get his little butt to straighten up!
However, there was one small sentence in the book that hit me: “Your job, as parents, is to help these children get what they missed…” Then the study guide expanded on this concept about “Returning to the Beginning” discussing how children may actually be required to “go backwards” in order to move forward. When I read the illustration about the older adoptee wanting hot tea with her mom many times a day and her mom’s comparison to bottles and sippy cups, it struck a chord with me.
Although we received our Stinkpot as an 8-month-old foster baby, do we need to somehow go backward and makeup for those first 8 months of neglect?
On Monday night, Stinkpot had another horrible episode. He wanted to go outside and play football but was refusing to eat supper. He even attempted to throw his plate across the room. FosterDad was clearly in discipline mode. I intervened with another approach.
As I scooped him up in my lap, he first fought me, but in a soft baby-toned voice, I began saying: “Oh! My little baby needs to eat supper, but this food is for big kids. Let’s mash this up and put a bib on this baby! Oh, here’s a bite. Open wide, baby…”
Would you believe, he began playing like he was a baby and anxiously took bite after bite until he was done? Then he got down and went outside to throw the football with Daddy.
Whoa! Crazy, huh? But it worked!
Then Tuesday night again, he was throwing a fit about wanting some candy, but we had Pediasure for him to drink. I picked up the squirt bottle it was in, acting like it was a bottle, and put Stinkpot in my lap in the rocking chair. “Oh, look at this baby needing his bottle!” He drank it quickly and the evening went well after all that drama.
This is nuts! But it’s working!
Now, I don’t want Stinkpot ruling the roost, so to speak, but by “going backwards”, he is getting something that he missed, and we, as parents, are getting him to mind (in a weird kind of way). Is this approach the right approach? Who knows?
There will be someone that will criticize me for “giving in” to his fits, but it’s working right now for our family right now.
Hopefully, I won’t be picking him up and treating him like a baby when he’s a teenager – THAT would be awkward!
Are you reading The Connected Child along with me? What may your child have missed? How can you go backwards to help heal your child?
Our 3-1/2-year-old was out-of-control. He had been kicked out of THREE daycares for explosive behavior. I had to take family leave from my career to stay at home with my emotional disturbed little boy.
My heart was breaking! We finally made the difficult decision to see a pediatric psychiatrist. Maybe this is the help we need. On the day of his appointment, he was running through waiting room in his underwear – just screaming.
The doctor prescribed Tenex to help calm him down. His explanation is that it was the most conservative treatment to begin with.
Our son adjusted well to new medication after a period of adjustment; however, after nearly two years, and with the beginning of all-day Kindergarten last month, the doctor decided it was time to try a stimulant for his ADHD behavior.
I was hesitant to begin giving my 5-year-old little boy a psychotropic medication. However, after a month on the ADHD stimulant, Vyvanse, it appears that he sees the world in a whole new way.
Check out the top photo of Spiderman – brown scribbles is how our little boy colored before.
And then all of a sudden, as if Dorothy opened the door from her home into the colorful land of Oz:
Our son’s mind has now been opened to the world of color. Even monkeys and mice are a RAINBOW OF COLOR!!!
our son has had twelve days of perfect behavior at school!!!
I am giddy, happy, thrilled with the transformation of my little boy!!!
Vyvanse is a stimulant – amphetamine – so it is highly regulated. Every month, we have to travel to the psychiatrist to pick up a written prescription to be filled within seven days.
The best quality of the Vyvanse: slow time-release – it doesn’t give the feeling of euphoria that other stimulants do so it doesn’t have the same addictive effect.
Noticeable Side Effects (besides a colorful world):
- Our son doesn’t take naps anymore. Good in that there is no more naptime for Kindergarteners; however, sometimes he can get quite grumpy in the late afternoon without a nap. (But when I say: “Oh, it looks like you’re grumpy since you didn’t have a nap” – he straightens up immediately, afraid he will have to take a nap)
- Our son has a severely decreased appetite. He won’t eat breakfast, and will eat only 2 bites of his lunch. He will eat during school snack time (but that’s not enough of the food we want him to eat). He will then eat a late lunch after school but then won’t be hungry for supper. Frustrating!!!
But even given these side effects, we are thrilled with Vyvanse (so far) and the transformation of our little boy!
Disclaimer: This is our personal experience with Vyvanse, and you should not take our experience as advice from a physician. I am not a doctor, and haven’t even played one on TV! I was not compensated for this review because the makers of Vyvanse don’t know we exist, and we paid the out-of-pocket deductible for the prescription Vyvanse ourselves.
What has been your experience with Vyvanse or other stimulants as treatment for ADHD?
On Friday night, it was still over 100 degrees in the evening here in Texas. We loaded our small family of four into our GMC Yukon to have dinner at a restaurant with an indoor playground. I was hesitant to visit Chick-Fil-A after I was verbally accosted in Chick-Fil-A by a single man for being a bad parent when I was wrangling five small children by myself.
On the way there, Stinkpot became his demanding self, repeating: “I don’t want to go to Chick-Fil-A!”
As I looked back at him to get on to him for making demands, I became immediately alarmed.
Stinkpot’s face, arms and legs were covered in hives!
“Oh no!” I exclaimed. “Pull over! Stinkpot’s covered in hives! It looks like a horrible allergic reaction.”
We quickly deduced that he was allergic to a new flavored drink from Dollar General. He was breathing fine and his tongue wasn’t swollen so a dose of Benedryl and an early bedtime in our bed is how we began our Labor Day holiday weekend.
In the morning, I woke to check our polka-dotted 5-year-old. The rash was worse!
A quick trip to the urgent care facility gave us the diagnosis: Fifth Disease
“What the heck is that?“
From the KidsHealth website:
Fifth disease is actually just a mild viral illness (from a type of parvovirus) that most kids recover from quickly and without complications.
Fifth disease begins with a low-grade fever, headache, and mild cold-like symptoms (a stuffy or runny nose). These symptoms pass, and the illness seems to be gone until a rash appears a few days later.
The bright red rash usually begins on the face. Several days later, the rash spreads and red blotches (usually lighter in color) extend down to the trunk, arms, and legs. The rash usually spares the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. As the centers of the blotches begin to clear, the rash takes on a lacy net-like appearance. Kids younger than 10 years old are most likely to get the rash.
A person with parvovirus infection is most contagious before the rash appears — either during the incubation period (the time between infection and the onset of symptoms) or when experiencing only mild respiratory symptoms.
The rash is the result of an immune system reaction that occurs after the infection has passed, so kids usually aren’t contagious once it appears. Isolating someone with a fifth disease rash won’t prevent spread of the infection because the person usually isn’t contagious by that time. The rash of fifth disease usually lasts 1 to 3 weeks. The majority of kids with fifth disease recover with no complications. By the time the rash appears and while it’s present, they usually feel well and are back to their normal activities.
We didn’t notice Stinkpot having any cold-like symptoms before. He has been playing, and his rash is clearing up quickly. And he will be returning to school tomorrow.
Have you heard of Fifth Disease before? What odd ailments has your children come down with?
However, I recently had my own Chick-Fil-A controversy. As you know, I’m still adjusting to the dynamics and logistics of large family living and herding 5 children.
Last Saturday, after a quick visit with cousins out-of-town, I took all the kids to a Metroplex Chick-Fil-A before loading them back into the GMC Yukon for the ride home. My plan: play hard, then sleep hard on the ride home.
Five kids into a restaurant by myself? What the heck was I thinking? I’m no freaking SuperMom, for Pete’s sake!!!
That being said, I thought I did fairly well ordering our meals, keeping Cupcake and Twinkie with me while the boys rushed off to play. I quickly found a table adjacent to the playroom, and set up camp. Sometime, in the midst of feeding the preschoolers and 10-month-old Cupcake, 4-year-old Donut announced that he needed to go to the bathroom. I mumbled “in a minute” as I was wondering how in the world I was going to manage taking this brood to the bathroom.
I looked up and saw that he had already darted across the restaurant and was going into the mens room. Well, “not a whole lot I can do now that he’s already made a run for it” was the thought that crossed my mind. So I watched the mens room door, and in hindsight, should have sent Stinkpot after him.
A couple minutes later, a man who had been sitting near the bathroom approached me. “Is that your little boy in the restroom? He’s needing help.”
I scooped up Cupcake, and went and opened the mens room door. Donut was in the stall with his pants at his ankles exasperated that he couldn’t find the toilet paper. He obviously didn’t realize the large contraption in the stall is, in fact, toilet paper. I coached him through wiping, flushing, washing and drying his hands with the mens room door open while watching the other kids eat.
As Donut ran back to the table, the man spoke to me:
“I’m not one to tell other people how to parent, but you should never have your children any more than an arms length away from you at all times. You should be able to grab your kid in an instant.“
Dumbfounded, I replied, “Yeah,” and turned to go back to my table.
My response only irritated this man.
“Listen! I work in a penitentiary and there are some bad people out there! Bad people! That could do horrible things to your kids.“
Downtrodden by this single man’s judgment of me, my only reply was “I know” and I walked back to my table.
I knew he was right. I now have a large family for the time being, and I should have had a plan before I attempted to step foot into a restaurant with 5 little ones.
I also wish my reply would have been more like:
“I know all about bad people. Two of the kids’ dads are in prison and the other would be if he hadn’t be deported. If more people like you who know so much about parenting would open their homes to foster children, then I wouldn’t have 5 children in mine!“
How do you manage handling numerous children in public? What would have been your response to the single man?
“Spit that out!”
“Give me that!”
“Take that out of your mouth!”
Those are words I am constantly saying with our nearly 3-year-old, Lil Bit. I’ve taken a number of objects out of that kid’s mouth: coins, rocks, paper, small toys, etc. (One might think he would have learned his lesson after grabbing what he thought was a pickle off his dad’s enchilada plate.)
I’ve become quite vigilant about this behavior, especially after his emergency surgery last September. Lil Bit was in surgery prep with a little girl that had a quarter lodged in her esophagus.
But if you are a parent of a little one, you know how difficult it is to keep any and every object out of a child’s reach, especially if they can climb like our Lil Bit.
And our worst fear warranted a trip to the emergency room yesterday afternoon!
When I pulled off our Lil Bit’s Pull-Up after an accident, I was freaked out to see RED –
LOTS OF RED!
The number one cause for rectal bleeding in children is SWALLOWED OBJECTS!!!
We rushed him to the emergency room scared of what he could have swallowed that might be lodged in his intestines causing this bleeding.
Surprisingly, our wait in emergency room to see a doctor was relatively short, considering we arrived during a shift change on the weekend. When the doctor saw what we collected, he was concerned and quickly took a sample to be tested for blood.
The results from the lab showed no signs of blood!
The doctor released Lil Bit, still perplexed at what caused the red stool. Lil Bit had drank Cherry Crystal Light, but so had the rest of us without this reaction.
We will just consider this a medical miracle that can only be performed by the one true God! Hallelujah!
How do you keep your child from putting objects in their mouth?
He was out-of control – as if demons had taken over his soul. His screaming was unintelligible. His body was flailing about with his arms punching the air or anything in the way. His face was the color of a sun-ripened tomato. His kicking jerked as his body contorted into different directions.
This wasn’t just a tantrum.
My role as a mother is to raise my precious preschooler into a Godly man. But my doubts overwhelm me during these moments. Had Satan already taken hostage of my child through a disorder known as Reactive Attachment Disorder or RAD?
In these moments, I am broken. I fall to my knees crying out for God to release the demon from my beloved child.
Through the prayers, God is awakening me to devote myself to this child.
Whatever it takes, dear Lord!
My child has emotions from his neglected infanthood that he cannot understand or control. His desire is to have all his physical needs met and feel that unconditional love.
As his mother, I have to make sacrifices. I’ve taken him out of full-day school. I’ve taken family leave from work to demonstrate to him that Mommy loves him and wants to be with him.
I devote my life to my son.
A problem that isn’t too large for my Lord and Savior.